Reflecting back on the past month I can’t believe how my life is starting to change. My last post discussed how I had been questioning my gender identity and how, at that stage, I was planning to move toward presenting myself as gender-neutral.
I did a lot of soul searching since writing that post and thought about the conversation I’d had with the first close friend I opened up to. I shared with her the story of another friend who had started her transition and we spoke about how I had been questioning my gender identity. Then she asked me if I was planning to transition as well. My immediate response was to backtrack and say no, that I wanted to just take things slowly and see how I felt about everything.
But to be honest that didn’t feel like an honest answer, and the issue of transition played over and over in my mind for several nights.
On the third night I was able to see things clearly, and for the very first time was able to be brutally honest with myself.
“I am Transgender.”
That thought pierced my soul, and with that admission I felt the male facade I’d built around myself start to unravel. The relief I felt was immediate and immense.
“Okay, so now I acknowledge that I am Transgender … what comes next?”
I knew in that moment that what I needed to do was allow the true and authentic me to surface. That night, for the first time in a long time, I felt happy.
I know there is no point in regret, but I really wish I had reached this conclusion sooner. For me, I now understand what living authentically can mean for me.
The businesses, selling, the stress, money, ego, all of it means nothing. I think sometimes that money can rob us of joy. What is the point of being able to buy a Ferarri for cash and have clothes custom-made, and own million-dollar seaside properties but be dead inside?
I sold my fancy car, and am currently living in a caravan because I’m learning that (besides falling in love with the tiny homes and minimalist philosophies) less is more. For now, I drive an old Toyota Prado with 277,777kms on the clock, my favorite food is pizza, I’ve rented out my beautiful home and I buy my ‘new’ clothes from Target and Savers. Some of you won’t get it, and that’s okay, because you judge success buy what someone drives, or what they wear, or where they live.
Since making the decision to be real, to acknowledge my authentic self, and to put ego aside I learned something:
It doesn’t matter.
None of the businesses, or the toys, or cars, or business class travel and fancy hotels … none of that stuff made me happy. Sure it was nice at the time, but nice fades and unless you are happy at your core the emptiness creeps back in.
I am. Happy that is.
I wasn’t before, but I am now.
So, my wish is that whatever your preconceived ideas or judgements about transgender people are, understand that for the first time since my childhood I’m genuinely happy.
Life has been hectic for me?
I have done a lot of research online to understand the process, and have prepared a transition plan. My transition has not been the only part of my life to benefit from my renewed enthusiasm. I’ve built a new website and am almost finished writing content for a training program I’ve written teaching people about cryptocurrencies, which should launch toward the end of this month. And I’m finding time to rediscover the joy of playing my guitar.
As far as my decision to transition goes, oh yeah I hadn’t mentioned that yet. The part where I mentioned the ‘what comes next’ question and the letting my true and authentic self surface, well the what comes next is a commitment to transition from my male body to a female one.
Discussions have already happened with my Psychologist, who has provided a letter of support and I’ve already seen a trans-friendly GP who referred me to one of only two local Endocronologists who specialise in trans issues. Unfortunately the first available appointment to the Endo was toward the end of October, so in the meantime I have started on the natural phyto-estrogen supplement pueraria mirifica. I’ve also had a full body wax and the first of many IPL sessions on my face to start slowing down growth of facial hair. And I’ve done all the preliminary appointments to have Invisalign fitted to straighten my teeth (for genuine bite correction/dental reasons).
One of my biggest worries about transitioning isn’t Gender Affirmation Surgery. As it happens I’m very keen to have that done, and have it scheduled in my transition plan for 12-15 months from now.
Rather, my biggest worry is how to deal with my quite advanced male pattern baldness. For the past couple of years I’ve kept my head completely shaven, but two weeks ago I allowed it my hair to start growing out. The reading I’ve done suggests that a combination of Finasteride and Minoxidil should help stop the transformation of Testosterone to DHT (the hormone that killed my hair) and allow the velus (very fine) hair that I do have on my head to start to recover. When I am able to start on hormones then hopefully I should see some hair regrowth. The possibility of hair growth in the absence of Testosterone/DHT varies from person to person. I’ve read reports ranging from almost zero chance of hair regrowth to predicting up to a 75% chance of full regrowth. I’m remaining hopeful, but also am preparing myself for the fact that I may have to incorporate some kind of wig to work in conjuction with the remaining hair which I’m growing out. Turns out I’m a Light Ash Brown, peppered with grey. Nothing that a trip to the hairdresser can’t fix, but at this point I’m focussed more on growing hair rather than what colour that hair is. And if I’m not able to regrow my own hair I understand there are treatments in development that in 2-3 years will make this a possibility.
Many people on transition journeys consider the process of starting on hormones as the fist major step toward aligning their bodies with their gender identity. I know for me the prospect of blocking testosterone with an anti-androgen and starting on estrogen will be the first real step in feminising my body. Essentially what I face is going through puberty again as my body adjusts to new hormones, a process that I’m expecting to take between 2-5 years.
So what will happen?
During the first 3-6 months I expect that my skin will become smoother and less oily, I will lose muscle mass and my body fat will start to redistribute giving me more defined hips and causing my breasts to develop. Given the family history and what I’ve read on MTF transitions I’m expecting to end up with a B-C cup. To help you understand better I’ve included the below chart from 2passclinic.com which shows how muscle and fat will change.
I plan on maintaining my current gym regime so that I still retain some muscle definition, as one of my goals here is to end up looking stunning in a bikini. My sex drive will also decrease and sperm production with slow to the point of becoming sterile. So that I still have options regarding having family in the future I’ll be banking sperm in the next few weeks.
After 6 months my body hair will start to become finer, although that will also happen as a result of regular waxing too.
So my transition plan thus far is:
- start hair treatment
- get invisalign fitted
- start hormone treatment
- share my journey with close family in 2-3 months
- learn feminine behaviours and mannerisms
- learn women’s fashion and makeup
- Work out what to do with my hair
- Start presenting as a woman in 6-12 months
- Open up to my broader friendship and social media network
- Gender Affirmation Surgery
- Trachea shave
- consider other facial feminisation surgery after seeing how hormones affect me – this may not be required
As you can see the journey before me is long, and at times will be challenging.
However, I am so comfortable and excited with my decision that wish I could snap my fingers and be in my female body tomorrow.
I know that some people in my friendship circle and broader network won’t understand, and that’s okay. I know that most people will be very surprised, and that’s okay as well.
My hope is that if you’re here you have chosen to support me through this transition.
As I’ve mentioned before my aim with this blog is to share my journey and thoughts to provide the opportunity for those people who want to know more to learn to do so. To that end I wanted to share a video of how 237 other individuals have courageously stepped out to become their authentic selves, so that you can see what is possible for me.
As always, if you have questions please reach out and ask. I’ll be happy to share what I know.